Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Prime Eights – So You Say You Want An Evolution… REVIEW

Let’s start with a little history of who The Prime Eights are. Before The Prime Eights, John Stone and Mike King were part of a hip hop collective named Abstrakt Intellekt. AI made quite a name for themselves in the industry by both touring with and recording with some serious heavyweights in the industry. Just like life though, music is constantly evolving and that is what happened here. Enter The Prime Eights, the new look of Hip Hop mixed with funk, jazz, and razor sharp lyricism that could only come from someone growing up in the Motor City.

So, let’s get to the music and see what we have here:

1) Preambulo: A short intro/interlude that sets you up nicely for the funk that is coming next.

2) I Rock: A booming track with some nice funk guitar and bass laid over it. The song evokes a sound that is a perfect balance between old school Kid Rock and Beastie Boys.

3) Black Magic: “I want to write my name across your heart with a fat, black, magic marker…” Some very nice jazz guitar laid across another fat, booming bass track. The guys deftly trade lyrics back and forth with a style that makes you think of some old school Heavy D acrobatics.

4) Fame:  Tracks starts with some tasty Spanish style guitar over another slammin’ bass track. Once again, the guys effortlessly trade lyrics while telling you the story of what fame can do to you. A story I would guess the guys have learned the hard way.

5) Asterisk: “Half of you don’t even know the half of this…I’m exceptional, mark it with an Asterisk.” Another track where the rest of the band really shines. Huge live bass track with some funky keys and guitar.

6) Consumar: The CD closes out with a mostly instrumental track that finds the guys in quasi-“Maggot Brain” mode. This track has Eddie Hampton and Bootsy Collins written all over it. (spoiler alert: stay tuned after the music ends for a surprise track…a really awesome Detroit style take on the Beastie Boys “So What You Want”)

CONCLUSION: What you get here is a funky as hell tour-de-force of old school style lyricism laced with some new school style funk, jazz, and rock. This is a 5 piece BAND that happens to have two very special rappers leading them. They’ve taken the groundwork laid by Kid, Rock, The Beastie Boys, Heavy D, and the rest of the masters and flipped it Detroit Style. This is a great introduction for the full length CD that they guys are currently recording. It wets the appetite and makes you hungry to see what comes next. Bottom line, this is the kind of music where you crank the windows down, turn up the volume, and just CRUUIIISSSEEEEE!

SCORE: 9 out of 10

STANDOUT TRACKS: I Rock, Black Magic, Asterisk

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Daniel Bryant – Mirror (Darkness) Review

The new Daniel Bryant CD, MIRROR (DARKNESS) is now released and available to the public for your listening pleasure. I became aware of Daniel’s music through a Reverb Nation artist submission. I’ve know been playing Daniel’s music on my internet radio show for a while now to great response. This CD was also world premiered on my show, Auditory Slam, on the 28th of April.

So, let’s break down the CD for those that may not be familiar with what Daniel does musically.

1) Jekyll & Hyde:  This song starts with a slower tone that builds up as the song progresses into an almost Queensryche style hook before coming back around to the beginning style. Great cathedral style effects that really add to the overall tone of the song.

2) Lucky Man: A song of loss and seeking redemption. The guitar tones here really stand out. Vocal delivery is great. Daniel sings in a way that is entirely likable without really sounding like anyone else that I can name.

3) Haunted: Song starts with a great guitar/drum combo that once again gives way to Daniel’s great singing and lyrical attack. Lots of progressive style sounds throughout.

4) Not The Same Anymore: Some really awesome Gregorian Chant style singing starts this song out before giving way to a great guitar riff and an almost rap style vocal delivery by Daniel.

5) Sometimes You Gotta Run: Acoustic opening with great vocal over it. The story really takes front and center here. Daniel really has a knack for the art of storytelling in a song. The song gives way to some great heavy guitar and keys that really shine.

6) Wake Up: Strong tones of Queensryche’s Silent Lucidity here. That’s not a bad thing either.

7) Mama’s Boy:  My least favorite song on the track. Good tones and singing, it just doesn’t jump out at me like the others.

8) Find Your Way Back Home: Great song with some really great sax playing throughout. Another great set of lyrics delivered with great emotion and style.

9) Reflection: The closer. A 14+ minute romp that takes all the previous styles and roles them into one song. The tour de force of awesomeness.

CONCLUSION: An emotional rollercoaster of a musical journey. Extremely well written and produced that really showcases not just Daniel but the entire band as a whole. You can really tell that this is about the SONGS, not just showing off said musical chops. The progressive nature of these songs will not be for all but if you like bands like Queensryche, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, or later Opeth, this should please you greatly. The CD can be listened to in it’s entirety FOR FREE on both Reverb Nation as well as through Youtube videos.

The website can be found at Daniel Bryant Website

SCORE:  8 out of 10

STANDOUT TRACKS: Jekyll & Hyde, Lucky Man, Find Your Way Back Home

 

 


Adam Lambert – Trespassing Review

So, let me start this review by pointing out that I am NOT an Adam Lambert fan. I was not impressed by his American Idol run nor did I like his first CD. With that said, I made a promise to a friend, whom happens to be a Glambert of the first degree, that I would listen to this CD objectively and give it a fair shot.

So, with that said, let’s see what we have here.

1) Trespassing: A really great sounding, catchy track that mixes modern dance beats with a rock track that just screams Another One Bites The Dust.

2) Cuckoo: Huge beat with a great vocal. Almost has a Michael Jackson-ish vocal styling a la Billie Jean. This one should definitely be big in clubs.

3) Shady: Songs starts with a HUGE beat that almost sounds like a cross between Foreigner’s JukeBox Hero and some Steve Wonder style funk. Once again, another huge sounding song that should be a hit in clubs. The production quality so far is top notch.

4) Never Close Our Eyes: Adams vocals really shine here. He sings this in an almost Savage Garden Darrin Hayes way, weaving flawlessly between the raspy low end of the verses into the sustained higher notes on the choruses. Great tune with another huge dance style beat.

5) Kickin’ In: I’m hearing some Prince influence all over this one. The beat is another huge sounding groove but it’s funky as hell as well. Once again, Adam weaves between the high and low end vocals without missing a note.

6) Naked Love: Another big sounding song. Not my favorite but I don’t hate it either.

7) Pop That Lock: Big sounding song but I can’t help but feel this has been done a hundred times by other artists. Definitely think this one should have been left to someone less talented than Adam.

8) Better Than I Know Myself: The first slow song on the CD. Big backing beat with a great vocal delivery. Once again, delivered without all the over-singing that I hate in pop singing.

9) Broken English: Another slower song with a big vocal delivery by Adam. Again, another song that I think could have been left off without really being missed. Has some cool dub elements mixed throughout though.

10) Underneath: Slower song that once again screams of an almost Darren Hayes style vocal delivery. Adam sounds really great here. His vocals really shine with only sparse keyboard backing throughout.

11) Chokehold: Great song delivery here. The bass/guitar mix is perfectly laid over a sultry, raspy style vocal by Adam. Definitely a radio hit in here somewhere on this one.

12) Outlaws Of Love: Another almost Savage Garden style delivery here. Adam really lets his voice shine here. Great restrained style vocal laid over a sparse style drum track.

13) Running: wow! just wow! My favorite track by far, thus far. Superb vocal delivery here over a track that just swirls around you like a tornado. This will definitely make it’s way into the playlist for my radio show. The dub style flair at the end just puts it totally into the stratosphere.

14) Take Back: Another huge sounding beat with a classic Adam vocal on it. I can definitely see this one making its way to the clubs as well.

15) Nirvana: Great song to end the CD. A really great mix of singing, electronic elements, and a really cool sounding drum track. Lyrics are very cool on this song especially.

Conclusion: Overall, a really great CD by Adam and his band. My biggest knock against Adam was his habit of over-singing on songs in the past. He has almost entirely avoided that here opting instead for a more laid back yet still dead on style that flawlessly weaves between his subtle, raspy low end and his ability to hit notes most singer couldn’t dream of. I love that this CD has a huge Darren Hayes/Savage Garden style to it. And please, do NOT take that as me saying Adam is copying Darren’s style. I mean that in a VERY POSITIVE light/way. While there are a few songs here that I think could/should have been left off, this CD really has a great number of songs that impress even me, one of his biggest critics. This has monster hit written all over it and it should have. This has flawless production throughout with a great mix of rock, pop, electronica, and dance.

Thanks to Lacy Carper for making me listen to this.  Adam should reward you for helping convert a non-believer.

Kudos Mr. Lambert, Kudos. You’ve made me believe.

SCORE: 7.5 of 10 (lose tracks 6,7, & 9 and this jumps up to a perfect score.)

STANDOUT TRACKS: Running, Chokehold, Shady, Cuckoo

EDIT: It’s been pointed out to me that the musicians that played on this CD are NOT the same ones that play in Adam’s touring band. I was not aware of this at the time. I’m new to the whole world of Adam so thanks to those that pointed out my mistake. Also, keep in mind that I don’t think the tracks I named are BAD songs, just songs that I think would be suited for someone else. With all that said, thanks to everyone for making this go viral and being so awesome. You guys/gals rock!


Great White – ELATION Review

Great White – Elation review

So, I got my hands on the new Great White CD, Elation, today. I’ve given it a thorough couple listens and thought I would drop my review of it for others that are on the fence about it due to all the rumors/mud slinging currently going on. For those with any reservations, let me put those to rest. The bands has delivered a solid, stomping, rompfest of a CD here.

The songs are as follows:

Something For You: Fast groove with a bit of a Led Zeppelin/Humble Pie feel. Great song that shows the band having a blast. Terry’s voice is very strong and the rhythm section is pumping on full blast.

Feelin’ So Much Better: classic sounding GW guitars. Great lead vocals with backup vocals. Once again, the rhythm section really propels this along.

Love Train: great guitar/harmonica combo in beginning of song. Terry’s vocals extremely bluesy sounding. Hints of old XYZ sneak in here (not a bad thing at all.)  Great bluesy solo without being flashy. Songs are definitely in a groove.

Heart of A Man: Another bluesy rocker with great vocals and groove. Terry’s vocals really are great sounding. There’s a very earthy, gritty passion about the way he sings these songs. The choruses on the songs are very singable. Songwriting on these songs really shine. Mark’s guitar playing is razor sharp throughout.

Hard To Say Goodbye: Great acoustic bluesy ballad. Very strong vocals and hollow body guitar tones. Hints of Steven Tyler-ish vocals at end of song.

Resolution: bluesy rocker, big bass sound, bluesy vocals. Song gets stronger as it goes along. My least favorite track but it’s really grown on me the more I listen to the CD.

Shotgun Willie’s: Great rocker a la Lady Red Light. Catchy as hell vocal harmonies and chorus. Amazing hook. Rhythm section really cooks on this one. You can almost picture the swing doors or the old Saloon on this one.

Promise Land: Terry’s vocals really stand out here. Great chorus again. Another song that’s all about the groove and the song.

Lowdown:  HUGE, nasty sounding guitar riff to start. Has a Rocky Mountain Way type of swagger. Terry’s vocals are perfect for it. The groove of this song is just nasty. This is MY kind of blues song.

Just For Tonight: Another rocker. Has a bit of an Old Rose Motel style vibe to it. Classic Great White sound throughout. The band is firing on all 5 cylinders here. Another nasty groover of a song.

Love Is Enough: slow, smokey ballad with piano intro that moves into a great groove. Perfect combination of the GW and XYZ sounds.

Complicated: Great bar room rocker style song. You could almost hear Spike(Quireboys) singing this one. Guitar and piano are really great on this one.

Conclusion: An overall amazing sounding CD. Top notch production and songwriting really stands out. Terry’s vocals are amazing in all the right places. IMHO, he is a vast improvement over Jack. He carries these songs flawlessly. The guitars smoke and swagger throughout. The rhythm section is in top form as well. They carry the groove of these songs very nicely. Any reservations I had about whether the band could still bring it are emphatically answered here. It’s awesome to see the guys once again not only playing but having FUN doing it.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Love Train, Shotgun Willie’s, Lowdown, Love Is Enough, Just For Tonight

SCORE: 9 out of 10